Representatives of the nuclear energy industry once again this week asked the NRC to adopt a performance-based approach to minimize the release of radioactivity from damaged fuel in a severe accident, while agency staff reiterated its earlier recommendation to require external filters for the containment vents of early-model boiling water reactors.

“A performance-based approach to filtration provides the greatest overall improvement in plant safety with sufficient filtration,” said Maria Korsnick, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s chief nuclear officer and chief operating officer. “The industry approach has the advantage of retaining the filtered radionuclides in containment. The desire is to prevent land contamination.”

Korsnick added that a performance-based approach that would specify results rather than methods to attain them would require plant-specific analyses. She noted that the NRC’s independent Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards “supports this approach”.

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NRC staff has recommended requiring engineered filters to the containment vents for early-model boiling water reactors as a post-Fukushima response.

A staff paper (SECY-12-0157) released this week for the commission’s consideration said an alternative performance-based approach to filtering preferred by industry and by the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards would work but take too long to implement.

The commission had directed agency staff (SRM-SECY-11-0137) to consider whether adding external filters at the same time as reliable hardened containment vents for Mark I and II boiling water reactors would help limit significant radiation releases from severe accidents.

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Equipment-sharing program at Memphis, Phoenix locations augments industry protocol to pool safety equipment in event of emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 25, 2012—The nuclear energy industry is adding another layer of safety and public protection by developing regional centers for critical equipment that could be needed to maintain safety in the event of an extreme event at America’s nuclear energy facilities. All companies that operate nuclear energy facilities approved a contract to develop two regional response centers managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.

The regional response centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and capable of delivering supplemental emergency equipment to any of America’s nuclear energy facilities within 24 hours, enabling them to safely manage a loss of electrical power and/or cooling water supply. The equipment and materials provided by the regional response centers supplement the additional portable equipment purchased at all 64 nuclear energy facilities that also can be utilized and shared during a site emergency.

Pooled Equipment Inventory Co. has been providing a shared inventory service to meet emergent equipment needs to the nuclear industry for more than 30 years. The company has established an alliance with AREVA to implement the regional response centers by expanding its capability to provide services that include emergency response planning, procurement and outage services.

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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

An online poll across 24 countries shows nuclear energy has more than 50 percent support in the United States, China, India and Great Britain, but less than majority support in other countries, including Japan, Germany and Italy.

The survey, taken by British polling firm Ipsos MORI, also demonstrated a marked uptick in support in most countries compared to a previous Ipsos poll on the subject taken in April 2011, a month after the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility.
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From The Associated Press on Friday, June 8:

“Japan’s leader appealed to the nation Friday to accept that two nuclear reactors that remained shuttered after the Fukushima disaster must be restarted to protect the economy and people’s livelihoods.”

Full story available here.

Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First